Niagara Gazette

June 27, 2013

Teen accused of gunning down his uncle gets maximum term in plea deal -- 17 years

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — Tears streamed down Shemela Williams' face as she stood in Niagara County Court on Wednesday morning. 

Sobbing, Williams asked County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to sentence Darius "Drizz" Belton to the maximum possible prison term for the murder of his uncle, and her fiance, Luis Ubiles.

"I don't hate, but I'll never forgive you," Williams told Belton. "Let God forgive you."

Williams told the judge that she and Ubiles had been set to marry last Saturday. But those plans were cut short when Belton gunned his uncle down in front of his South Avenue home on Sept. 25.

Just as you showed no remorse (for killing Ubiles), I'll show no remorse to you," Williams said to Belton. "These ain't tears of pain, these are tears of joy. I I hope you enjoy your time in prison."

Belton had not shown remorse in the courtoom on April 16 when he pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree manslaughter in his uncle's slaying. In a pre-sentence report, prepared by a Niagara County probation officer, that officer also noted what he called Belton's "lack of remorse" for the killing.

Defense attorney Angelo Musitano, however, disputed that claim.

"I was there (when Belton spoke to the probation officer)," Musitano told Farkas. "And I will tell you there was a substantial amount of remorse."

Belton told the judge, "I never intended for none of this to happen." He said his uncle had been "like a father" to him.

The Falls teen said was just trying to stop a fight between his mother and his uncle.

"This was a family dispute that spiraled out of control," Belton said. "I fired a shot to try to scare him away."

Belton, 19, 1666 South Ave., had been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, but pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge in a deal with prosecutors on the eve of jury selection for his trial.

Farkas rejected a 15-year prison term, proposed by prosecutors, telling them it "wasn't enough." She sentenced Belton to 17 years behind bars instead.

Belton could have faced 25 years to life behind bars if he had been convicted on the murder and weapons charges.

When Falls police responded to the shooting call in the 1600 block of South Avenue, just a few blocks from police headquarters, Ubiles, 37, with a single gunshot wound to his chest. He was lying in front of Belton’s home when the officers arrived.

Ubiles was rushed to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later. 

with mug - NIA Belton, Darius mug 062813 Darius Belton Sentenced Thursday